North West office space enquiries approach 2008 peak
Enquiry figures for serviced office space in the North West through officebroker.com have shown impressive strength over recent months, to produce the highest figure of the year so far in August.
Furthermore, August’s enquiry volume is just 6% behind that of 2008’s peak, which was recorded in January. This is a positive step for the North West serviced office space market, as figures appear to be maintaining strength despite the current decline.
The below graph shows the shape of enquiries received over the first eight months of 2008 and 2009, for serviced office space in the North West.
Graph showing enquiries for serviced office space in the North West, January – August 2008 and 2009:
The graph shows that in 2009, since the lowest level of enquiries in April, figures have been rising steadily throughout Q2. In July and on entry into Q3, enquiries dropped slightly by 3%, before increasing again by 15% in August.
In comparison, 2008’s enquiry figures were up in April, but experienced a dip in May. Enquiries also dropped off sharply in August, producing the lowest figure out of the first eight months of the year.
Over the last 5 months to date, in total 2009 is down less than 2% when compared to the same 5-month period last year. However, the pattern of enquiries suggests a more favourable outcome in 2009, as August has seen an increase over the previous month and the upward trend suggests further room for growth at the conclusion of Q3.
North West developments strengthen region’s appeal
Leading the way for enquiries in the North West is Manchester, the ‘Warehouse City’. Ranked in 2007 and 2008 as the second-best place to do business in the UK, and in 2008 as the fourteenth best city in Europe by Cushman & Wakefield’s Cities Monitor, Manchester regularly features highly on opinion polls as one of the best enterprise locations in the UK.
Part of the North West’s recent success in terms of enquiries, especially when compared to 2008, could be related to huge surge in developments within Manchester and surrounding areas.
Spinningfields is a major new office development in the centre of Manchester and has become a hive of office space activity over recent months. Now said to be the ‘heart of the legal industry’ in the North-West, according to a major UK legal market survey ‘The Legal 500’, Spinningfields has attracted major companies to lease offices in the area.
In addition Salford, a district of Greater Manchester, has sparked a wave of interest within the media industry thanks to its high-profile studio and office development, Media City. The BBC has already secured offices in the area, and many other media firms have since followed suit.
Other major developments include a new head office for the Co-Operative Group in the heart of Manchester’s city centre, and a ┬ú30m addition to the University of Manchester for a new School of Chemical Engineering building.
The North West has also been in the news recently amidst plans by Network Rail for a new multi-million pound high-speed line from London to Scotland. If the proposal is brought to fruition, commuters would be able to travel on trains at speeds of up to 200mph. This would further improve the region’s transport links and would result in greater connection between the North West and other major UK cities, including Central London, Birmingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
For more details relating to Manchester and the North West, take a look at our Focus on Manchester report. To find and compare serviced office space in the North West, start searching online at officebroker.com or speak to one of our expert consultants for free, regional advice.